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ar - create, modify, and extract from archives



        ar - create, modify, and extract from archives


        ar [-X32_64] [-]p[mod [relpos] [count]] archive [member...]


        The  GNU  ar program creates, modifies, and extracts from archives.  An
        archive is a single file holding a  collection  of  other  files  in  a
        structure  that  makes  it possible to retrieve the original individual
        files (called members of the archive).
        The original files’ contents, mode (permissions), timestamp, owner, and
        group  are preserved in the archive, and can be restored on extraction.
        GNU ar can maintain archives whose members have names  of  any  length;
        however,  depending  on how ar is configured on your system, a limit on
        member-name length may be imposed for compatibility with  archive  for‐
        mats  maintained with other tools.  If it exists, the limit is often 15
        characters (typical of formats related to a.out) or 16 characters (typ‐
        ical of formats related to coff).
        ar  is  considered  a  binary utility because archives of this sort are
        most often used as libraries holding commonly needed subroutines.
        ar creates an index to the symbols defined in relocatable  object  mod‐
        ules  in  the  archive  when you specify the modifier s.  Once created,
        this index is updated in the archive whenever ar makes a change to  its
        contents  (save  for  the q update operation).  An archive with such an
        index speeds up linking to the library,  and  allows  routines  in  the
        library  to  call  each  other without regard to their placement in the
        You may use nm -s or nm --print-armap to list this index table.  If  an
        archive  lacks  the table, another form of ar called ranlib can be used
        to add just the table.
        GNU ar is designed to be compatible with two different facilities.  You
        can control its activity using command-line options, like the different
        varieties of ar on Unix systems; or, if you specify the single command-
        line  option -M, you can control it with a script supplied via standard
        input, like the MRI ‘‘librarian’’ program.


        GNU ar allows you to mix the operation code p and modifier flags mod in
        any order, within the first command-line argument.
        If you wish, you may begin the first command-line argument with a dash.
        The p keyletter specifies what operation to execute; it may be  any  of
        the following, but you must specify only one of them:
        d   Delete  modules  from the archive.  Specify the names of modules to
            be deleted as member...; the archive is untouched if you specify no
            files to delete.
            If  you  specify  the  v  modifier,  ar  lists each module as it is
        m   Use this operation to move members in an archive.
            The ordering of members in an archive can make a difference in  how
            programs  are  linked  using the library, if a symbol is defined in
            more than one member.
            If no modifiers are used with "m", any members you name in the mem‐
            ber  arguments are moved to the end of the archive; you can use the
            a, b, or i modifiers to move them to a specified place instead.
        p   Print the specified members of the archive, to the standard  output
            file.   If the v modifier is specified, show the member name before
            copying its contents to standard output.
            If you specify no member arguments, all the files  in  the  archive
            are printed.
        q   Quick  append;  Historically, add the files member... to the end of
            archive, without checking for replacement.
            The modifiers a, b, and i do not affect this operation; new members
            are always placed at the end of the archive.
            The modifier v makes ar list each file as it is appended.
            Since  the  point  of this operation is speed, the archive’s symbol
            table index is not updated, even if it already existed; you can use
            ar s or ranlib explicitly to update the symbol table index.
            However,  too  many  different systems assume quick append rebuilds
            the index, so GNU ar implements q as a synonym for r.
        r   Insert the files member... into archive  (with  replacement).  This
            operation  differs  from  q in that any previously existing members
            are deleted if their names match those being added.
            If one of the files named in member... does not exist, ar  displays
            an  error  message,  and leaves undisturbed any existing members of
            the archive matching that name.
            By default, new members are added at the end of the file;  but  you
            may  use one of the modifiers a, b, or i to request placement rela‐
            tive to some existing member.
            The modifier v used with this operation elicits a  line  of  output
            for  each  file  inserted,  along with one of the letters a or r to
            indicate whether the file was appended (no old member  deleted)  or
        t   Display  a  table  listing the contents of archive, or those of the
            files listed in member... that are present in  the  archive.   Nor‐
            mally  only  the  member name is shown; if you also want to see the
            modes (permissions), timestamp, owner, group,  and  size,  you  can
            request that by also specifying the v modifier.
            If  you  do  not  specify  a  member,  all files in the archive are
            If there is more than one file with the same name (say, fie) in  an
            archive  (say  b.a), ar t b.a fie lists only the first instance; to
            see them all, you must ask for a complete listing---in our example,
            ar t b.a.
        x   Extract members (named member) from the archive.  You can use the v
            modifier with this operation, to request that ar list each name  as
            it extracts it.
            If  you  do  not  specify  a  member,  all files in the archive are
        A number of modifiers (mod) may immediately follow the p keyletter,  to
        specify variations on an operation’s behavior:
        a   Add  new files after an existing member of the archive.  If you use
            the modifier a, the name of an  existing  archive  member  must  be
            present as the relpos argument, before the archive specification.
        b   Add new files before an existing member of the archive.  If you use
            the modifier b, the name of an  existing  archive  member  must  be
            present  as  the relpos argument, before the archive specification.
            (same as i).
        c   Create the archive.  The specified archive is always created if  it
            did not exist, when you request an update.  But a warning is issued
            unless you specify in advance that you  expect  to  create  it,  by
            using this modifier.
        f   Truncate  names  in  the archive.  GNU ar will normally permit file
            names of any length.  This will cause it to create  archives  which
            are  not compatible with the native ar program on some systems.  If
            this is a concern, the f modifier may  be  used  to  truncate  file
            names when putting them in the archive.
        i   Insert  new files before an existing member of the archive.  If you
            use the modifier i, the name of an existing archive member must  be
            present  as  the relpos argument, before the archive specification.
            (same as b).
        l   This modifier is accepted but not used.
        N   Uses the count parameter.  This  is  used  if  there  are  multiple
            entries  in  the  archive  with  the  same name.  Extract or delete
            instance count of the given name from the archive.
        o   Preserve the original dates of members when  extracting  them.   If
            you  do not specify this modifier, files extracted from the archive
            are stamped with the time of extraction.
        P   Use the full path name when matching names in the archive.  GNU  ar
            can  not create an archive with a full path name (such archives are
            not POSIX complaint), but other archive creators can.  This  option
            will  cause  GNU ar to match file names using a complete path name,
            which can be convenient when  extracting  a  single  file  from  an
            archive created by another tool.
        s   Write  an object-file index into the archive, or update an existing
            one, even if no other change is made to the archive.  You  may  use
            this modifier flag either with any operation, or alone.  Running ar
            s on an archive is equivalent to running ranlib on it.
        S   Do not generate an archive symbol table.  This can speed up  build‐
            ing  a  large  library in several steps.  The resulting archive can
            not be used with the linker.  In order to build a symbol table, you
            must  omit  the S modifier on the last execution of ar, or you must
            run ranlib on the archive.
        u   Normally, ar r... inserts all files listed into  the  archive.   If
            you  would like to insert only those of the files you list that are
            newer than existing members of the same names, use  this  modifier.
            The  u  modifier is allowed only for the operation r (replace).  In
            particular, the combination qu is not allowed, since  checking  the
            timestamps would lose any speed advantage from the operation q.
        v   This  modifier  requests the verbose version of an operation.  Many
            operations  display  additional  information,  such  as   filenames
            processed, when the modifier v is appended.
        V   This modifier shows the version number of ar.
        ar ignores an initial option spelt -X32_64, for compatibility with AIX.
        The behaviour produced by this option is the default for  GNU  ar.   ar
        does  not  support  any of the other -X options; in particular, it does
        not support -X32 which is the default for AIX ar.
        nm(1), ranlib(1), and the Info entries for binutils.


        Copyright (c) 1991, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000,  2001,  2002,
        2003 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
        Permission  is  granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
        under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version  1.1  or
        any  later  version  published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
        Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with  no  Back-Cover
        Texts.  A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ‘‘GNU
        Free Documentation License’’.


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